Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Moving ahead

I have been away from my blog and my email account for the past few days ... checking them on my phone and not replying. After being glued to them day and night for the past many days I felt that I had to have something substantial to say in my next post. I just felt that I couldn't easily slip back to writing about trivial things in my life; that I couldn't suddenly be normal after everything that has happened. I should not have worried about it, all around me people who were affected have found ways to be and remain a part of this - whatever 'this' is. Overwhelmed is the emotion I have now, next to the grief and anger I talked about - the help and support that people have poured out in every way possible makes me feel like a part of a large whole, it makes me feel hopeful. I was afraid ... what if I got caught up in life and let 'this' die. I should not have worried.

All you guys, we didn't start this but we are going to keep this alive.

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Last Wednesday I went to Town, Town is what we like to call South Bombay. It was the longest drive ever - literally and figuratively. I had planned to meet a darling friend and her mum and also wanted to go to the peace march. A close friend didn't want me to go, his point was that there are other ways to help ... still on my way I had thought that I will go to Gateway, what he doesn't know can't hurt him (or me). There are things you need to do for yourself, this just seemed like one of them.

I was scared, I just wasn't sure how I would feel going back to the streets and places which for me are Bombay. I live in the suburbs in a very well-planned township which is cosmopolitan, has all the conveniences and joys which most parts of Bombay cannot afford like open spaces, parks, malls, movie halls, restaurants, nice looking buildings, minimum filth etc. - everything within a 5 min. walk radius. For living, this is the kind of place I would like to live in but this township could have been in any part of India. For me its the colonial structures, the oval maidan, the marine drive, the arched corridors at Fort, the painters at Kala Ghoda, the bustle at causeway ... these are what make it Bombay. The years that I have been here in this city, I have spent numerous days walking about and absorbing the feel of the place and they just keep me coming back. Even the book sellers who aren't there any more, Churchill, Jimmy Boy, NCPA, Rhythm House ... they all are such a part of this city for me that I was scared for what I will feel when I go back this time.

I did feel that heavy sadness which just settles on you, I felt the anger at the thought of these madmen roaming the streets of my city, I felt the sting of tears . But it was some other feeling that took over very soon. I saw the sea of humanity surging towards Gateway, I saw people of all ages, people from different walks of life, people with laptops and people with children, people in groups and people walking alone, people with banners, our flags - they filled the very streets where the terrorists had roamed less than a week back. With rumors still rife it may not have been the safest thing to have over 2 lakh people gather in a not so large space but it did not seem to matter. I was stuck in the traffic for almost two hours and even those who tried to walk it were a part of a pedestrian jam and never reached till Gateway, it hardly mattered though. I have to say that I have never seen or felt anything like it - that traffic snarl and that logistical nightmare was the nicest thing that happened to me after those days.

The movie Halla Bol has this dialogue which I completely love, Pankaj Kapoor (playing Siddhu) says ... Apne Jism pe chot lagne pe to janwar bhi rota hai, insaan wo hai to doosre ki chot mehsoos kar sake - Even an animal cries when there's a wound on its body, a human is one who can feel someone else's wounds.

Sometimes you just need to know that people are affected, that they will walk to a crowded Gateway to speak up - even if that's the only thing they do, that you live in a world where 'everything doesn't go'.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can anyone guide me on this?

My aunt who lives in Sydney is a very active member of the India-Club and has also been relaying the sentiments of those in Bombay to the community there. She wrote to me regarding the procedure to help those families who have suffered. I am posting her message here and would be thankful if any of you can tell me how to go about this.

Her Message:
A friend of mine would like to raise funds for one particular Police constable from Uttaranchal (Dehradun) who was amongst first casuality - his name is Rajinder Singh. She felt his family may find it very tough to survive financially so she intends to raise substantial amount for his family, especially for the education of his children. What are your thoughts on this? If we do this, how we can make sure that the money reaches his family and does not get lost in the system? Your advice will be very valuable on this.


They key questions are:
  • How to find and contact Rajinder Singh's family?
  • What is the best way to send this aid?
  • How to make sure it reaches the family directly?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Helping Us Heal

The physical scars are easier to see and with time do heal. Its the mental and emotional trauma that is not always easy to identify and even if you do, difficult to deal with. In such times, professional help can help the healing process. This thought was driving me to find a way to help the people who have and are going through the trauma of the current crisis, so when I read Minal's comment on Ser's blog , I immediately talked to her.

Minal is a clinical psychologist and a counselor for animal-aided therapy. Also, she has provided the details for other doctors who might be able to help. I am giving the key details here and are also a part of her message below.

For Trauma Counselling and Psychiatric help :
Minal : 9987509102 and 9421004291
Dr.Machiswala (Head Psychiatrist - Masina Hospital, visiting doc for JJ hospital) - 9820081884

Please refer those around you who may have been rescued, are the victim's families or the people and families involved with the rescue operations to the given numbers. They may or may not be aware that they are in urgent need for this help. Also send any more contact numbers for those who can provide Counselling and Psychiatric help and I will update the given list.


Minal' message:

Serendipity's blog is a reflection of what most Mumbaikars and their families must have experienced in the last six days. Extreme stress, anxiety, loss, fear, trauma etc. It is very easy for us to quote the "Mumbai Spirit" where we go back to work the next day, but it is very difficult to overcome the deep trauma within that does not show outside. Post traumatic stress can set in soon after or even gradually , after a n extremely traumatic situation. Many people find it difficult to cope up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and many simply fail to realize that they are suffering from PTSD. After trauma, extreme fear, helplessness, or anxiety are normal short-term reactions that generally dissipate over time, as individuals cope and adjust.

But most of acute trauma sufferers, however, develop symptoms lasting longer than 30 days. Symptom duration distinguishes PTSD from normal acute stress reactions. PTSD's hallmark symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance and/or emotional numbness, sleeplessness etc.

The best way to tackle it is to seek some kind of ventilation to the emotions (Catharsis) resulting from the trauma. A comforting hug from a dog is one way of letting out your pent up stress. This is called Animal Assisted Therapy. Animals are unconditional and their touch is soothing. Most of the time people in trauma or in a state of shock don't want to talk as they re experience the trauma. With animals you do not need to talk. Even if you hug the therapy dog, it provides you immense comfort and reassurance. It also helps in catharsis or venting out of emotions. A person may cry on hugging the dog as it releases the emotions locked up inside. Also the animal is non judgmental. An animal will not judge you for what you do or say, hence providing a very open environment to express oneself.

Please let me know if you know anyone who has been rescued from the Mumbai terror blast, family of survivors, or was a part of the rescue operation. Our NGO Animal Angels Foundation, comprising of counselors, therapists and trained Therapy Dogs are offering free counseling and visits by our therapy dogs for all the survivors, rescued/injured people.

You can contact me on 9987509102 and 9421004291. You can visit our website www.animalangels.org.in

You can also contact Dr.Machiswala (Head Psychiatrist - Masina Hospital) - 9820081884.

Looking forward to hear from you.

Regards,
Minal

Call for help : Help where it is needed

"Don't waste on candles, bring us fruits and biscuits for the wounded,say doctors".

This small news piece in my HT today made me feel so foolish, I am so caught up in my anger and in what can make me feel better that I am forgetting something. While the political circus goes on, the news has been overtaken by it and may be so has been our efforts. While I don't say that we stop protesting and raising our voices, let us please not forget that along with the 100s that died, many 100s are wounded and lying in hospitals. They need our help and fast.

In terror attacks like blasts which have a sudden but large impact, the response from the public and the aid is faster to come as they are the first ones to start rescue efforts. In the current scenario, the fact that it went on for 50-60 hours the fear psychosis has kept a lot of people away and the hospitals have not received as much help as in some of the terrible fates this city has seen in the past - even in terms of blood donation the help has been lesser.

The doctors in this news piece say that these are govt. run hospitals where the funds constraints mean that nutritious items like fruits are not a part of the meals given to the patients. Also, at times the patient and especially the children shy from eating these meals well given that they are meant to be healthy and not tasty. In such cases even a packet of biscuit is a help in giving them supplements. "A good diet helps overcome trauma faster."

This is an appeal to everyone out there wanting to help, to all those planning to go to South Bombay for the Gateway Vigil tomorrow - please do what you can. Lets not just mourn our dead and forget our living.

DO NOT bring cooked food, bring only dry packaged food or fruits. Please bring/ send fruits and biscuits to the following :

  • JJ Hospital. Dr. Jaidev : 23735555
  • St. George Hospital. Dr. Ashok Shinde : 9869050622
  • GT Hospital : 22630553

This is what I got from the newspaper, I'm not sure if they require medicines or any other supplies, if any of you are aware please leave a comment. I will try to find out and update this.

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Update

Linking to Parul's post here as it links to some useful pages. Do check this.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lets Speak

This is a comment from an anonymous person on my blog, will consider it as a guest post. Thanks, stranger. :

I am amazed at how much I take for granted. When did I start believing and living my life as if I will surely not die before I turn 60 (or maybe 70)? That mundane events like heart-attack, diabetes etc. or absurd horrors like terrorists doing their "aakas" bidding would not cut short my "entitled" long life.

I have read several articles exhorting politicians to do something. "Make sure this does not happen again?" How? I have a hard time believing that the my government can save me from people hell bent on killing. Maybe, I should train and become an NSG commando. Shouldn't we all, just to remain sane and got out for dinner secure in the knowledge that we are much better prepared for our own safety?

It makes me really depressed to realize that for almost 99% of our existence, mankind has not had the luxury of assuming that they are safe in their homes--that there is a government or an NSG commando out their to protect us. What is the difference between the guys who attacked Mumbai, and Alexander or Ghengis Khan who wrecked havoc on the lives of people half way across the world? Maybe, Alexander is great only in the comfort of our living rooms.

We would like to believe that these terrorists who attack us are misguided? This gives us the hope that maybe some day they will get weary of being a lunatic by choice. Because we sure cannot stop them without our entire country turning into a huge army--at best next time we will be able to "sanitize" the city within an hour with only one person dead. Is that a success? Does it make the pain any less for Hemant Karkare's family that 179 other people were killed?

I am filled with rage not only about these attacks but also at the thought that the biggest issue obsessing Raj Thackrey and his goons before these attacks was how non-marathis were stealing jobs in Mumbai and how to terrorize them into leaving Mumbai. If the government is responsible for ensuring my safety, it is my duty to ensure that they are not distracted by lunatic sideshows periodically created by Shiv Sena. I am not trying to trivialize the issue about the "Darwinian" struggle for resources in Mumbai. The very idea that I have no other option but to hope that the government/army/NSG commandos will arrive in time protect me and my family, fills me with despair.

I hope this does not happen again. That's all I can do.

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Last year Praks and I went to the Elephanta festival, on our way there in the ferry as we looked back, the sun was setting, two Spanish women were singing a haunting melody and there was the Taj, in its awesome glory, dwarfing the Gateway. That moment and its feel will always stay with me but right now it moves me like never before.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A step at a time

There was a memorial service and a candlelight vigil in our society for all those victims and those brave men - army, NSG, hotel staff, policemen who lost their lives in the recent ... what do I call them - events? massacre? madness? attacks? Attacks.

My society has about 250 flats and consequently a lot of people and its a society very active (and at times, hyper active) in celebrating every festival, general get - togethers, parties and stuff, so I do see people gather and chit chat, celebrate etc. However, I have never seen so many of the residents joining in, I saw faces I had never seen in the past 5 years, people poured out to light a candle and mourn the people they knew and didn't. Old ladies, fathers getting their children to light a candle, the youngsters who usually think it uncool to mingle with anyone above the age of 19. It touched me deeply that pain can get people together even more than joy.

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Since I have been jobless for some months I have taken to going down in the evening and after meeting a large number of people have made a few good friends. (For those of you who don't know me too well, I didn't get fired, I'm on a break).When I am down I usually notice stuff, it was part of my job description once and I have always been good at it. SO I am aware of the patterns of games the kids downstairs play and was surprised to see them doing something different in the evening today - the three young girls - 5-7 years old, had their bellies to the floor and were crawling on their elbows. I looked at one of my friends with a surprised look and she said,"They are playing commando". I didn't know whether to smile or well up about that.
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Yesterday a friend sent me this text message - 'Am I the only one who is bursting into tears every now and then?My anguish and outrage is overwhelming me'. The message came at a time when I was wondering the same and grappling with some questions that won't leave me. Am I the only one this affected? Why am I this affected? This surely isn't the only time this city has seen devastation.

All of you out there, believe me, we are all together in this unhappiness. Lets please not let go of it so easily, if we forget, who will remember?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How do we go on?

I talked of many emotions yesterday and I am left with only two now. Grief and Rage. Grief and Rage. How could this happen to us? How DID this happen to us? There are horrifying stories of people being killed at point blank range, there are images of a young boy cremating his father and a father cremating his son, a mother talking to his brave son who lies in a coffin covered with the Tiranga, there is a sea of grieving, shocked family members. So many lives, SO MANY OF THEM. Left midway, truncated. Lives, families, children, friends, plans all left midway with a violent end. How WILL they ever recover from it? These guys they come barging into our lives and take over, just like that? Who are they? And what made them into these animals? What did these people who are lying dead ever do to them? Did god not give these boys the mental facilities which help you distinguish right from wrong? Did he not give them humanity? Such hate? What do their aakas hope to achieve from this, how will our despair help them?

The brave forces have completed the operations, after three very long days and even longer nights. They have killed some of the terrorists, they have also rescued so many of the precious lives. Still how can we say that we have conquered them?! We have been brought to our knees , they succeeded in doing what they started out to - done the damage to our lives, our city, our people and our spirit. If we cannot accept that, there is no way we could ever get up. The operations might be over but this is far from over. I have no clue where to go from here. How can I just go back to living my life like I did, as if nothing happened? And if I don't am I not letting them win? I don't know where to look for these answers, I don't even know if the answers exist.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My City Bleeds

Grief. Anger. Helplessness. Rage. Tears. Goosebumps. Numbness. I finally find the strength to think and write about it. Its been hours and hours of this and Bombay is still burning, no one knows when will there be an end to this nightmare. We have been glued to the TV switching from one news channel to another for about 40 hours now, not able to sleep, eat or tear our ears and eyes away. The images of people with haunted eyes, blood soaked streets; the images of places we love, places we go to - burning, flicker behind my eyes even as I try to nap. And I worry, worry, worry.

As the terrified yet relieved faces of those rescued are shown on TV every once in a while, I tremble in relief for them and in grief for the numerous who did not, would not make it. What the survivors have gone through and what they have seen is going to haunt them for their lives. Neither are we. The images of The Taj building going up in flames, the sounds of blasts and gunfire, the reports of bodies strewn about in the two hotels, the martyred soldiers are not something we are likely to forget in our lifetimes. So we do what we can, sitting in our living rooms, watching our city being defiled, we pray for those who were, still are caught up in this and for those who have walked in willingly to bring out the ones they consider their duty. We pray for those who have lost friends, family members to this wanton hate. I have no idea what consolation to give them.

Our policemen, armymen, the NSG, the naval commandos, the hotel staff, the Airforce troopers they all fill our screens and hearts, they give us hope in this hopeless hour. The brave of our country doing their jobs as if its not their lives too that are stake. I swing between despair at what has happened and a fierce pride in our people.

On 26th November night, as we hear the news after a cousin called to check on us, I hear the words 'The Taj' and then ... The Oberoi. S and I strain to get every bit of information, I feel guilty and selfish looking especially for every bit of news on The Oberoi, praying especially hard for it. And for the first time I understand what the families of our defence forces must go through. My close close friend's dad, a friend who is my person, her dad takes care of the security details at the Oberoi, determined to leave only when every last one who needs help has been helped, I feel the fear and pride of it all for the past many hours. In the initial 8-10 hours as there's no contact with him after he rushed to resume his duties, we, her friends, hold our own vigil and pray our separate prayers. I feel helpless and I feel ashamed of my emotional state as she and her mom put up a brave front for friends, even as the news of firing, blasts and fires at the Oberoi fill the news reports. And I feel something which no word in my vocabulary describes, as she tells me that she could never ask him to come back home to his own safety while people are still stranded, its not something he would ever do. My girl, I can only give my prayers , my heart tells me that such goodness and such spirit can come to no harm. Yet I don't know how to explain our cops dying in the line of duty, it does not seem like a world where you ccannot rust your heart or goodness or spirit but I cannot think of ANYTHING else which might be keeping us afloat.

I don't know about the spirit of the people etc., it all sounds like cliches and bytes that the news channels have been beaming for these eternal hours; I only know that if there are people who have the heart to open fire on people going about their business; there are also people who have the heart to walk in and stay till the so very bitter end to fight them and make sure that the damage they can do to us is minimum.

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Update: Her dad is ok and here's her story.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I don't know what to do. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

Its gonna be ok. Its gonna be ok. Its gonna be ok.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Morning After

I just love the morning after. I mean, after the night I finish a book. It feels like waking up to a new world, each time.It feels like whatever world I was living in has come to an end, reached its culmination and when I wake up I have the chance to choose an entirely new one for myself. Padding to the stack of new, unread books ; picking them up, reading the back covers, inside panels; rolling them around my head; thinking about what had made me buy the book, deciding what it is that I feel like diving into and finally settling down to it. Its a completely amazing feeling. A feeling that no candy shop, dessert shop even shoe shop examples can describe. The joys that we live for :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yayy!


Happy B'day to me!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Conversation Starters - III

The incident with J that started this whole train of thought.

J goes to a friend's place to visit him, friend is not at home but his roommate is and asks J to hang around and wait for the friend. J decided to do this. While J hangs around a few of the roommate's friends are also around and a girl from this group , in order to be polite and open the conversation attempts a conversation which goes like this:

Friend's roommate's friend (FRF) to J : So ... how many times have you been to the jail?

J : (Splutters, has an utterly shocked expression on face, isn't sure she heard right etc.) Well ... like ... NEVER.

FRF to J : Wow! You never got caught?!

J : (Further shock, disbelief, hysterical laughter starting) Caught doing what?!!

FRF: Oh.

Ha haaaaa. Can you believe that?!!! What I really wonder is the kind of answers this woman is used to getting, which she didn't from J! And J, let us have a talk about you hanging around with shady roommates and I intend to be the elder one in this particular conversation.

Every time J tells this one, by this time in the story I am laughing so hard that I have no clue what happened next and how she got out of this one. Whatever happened next, don't you think this ones takes the cake ... being asked how many times you've been to jail! :D

There's another one ... a story related to me, I'm still deciding whether to tell or not :)


P.S. I do know how to count, thank you. CS-II is still saved as a draft and needs to be completed, I'll be posting it as soon as I find some time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Converstaion Starters - I

When we come across or are introduced to people we haven't met before, what do we do? We or in some cases 'they' try to start the conversation, so there are plenty of opening lines all of us would have heard over the years, here are some I remember.
  • The common ones, of course, are ... What do you do? Where are you from? Where do you live? What's your name? You live around here? You new around here? etc.
  • Some are rather funny, like this one in a dessert shop, where pointing at what I'm eating this guy asks me 'is it any good?' It was, so I told him its better than it looks but he won't get to find out as I ate the last one! Ha! :)
  • OR a friend of mine asking another friend of mine, with me being right there, 'how do you know this devilish woman?'
  • There are those embarrassing ones where visiting aunts from long past pinch your cheeks and say ... 'she's the one who did this and this when she was young, isn't it?' and the worse , which I have been witness to but never been subjected to ... 'oh, how can I forget you, you are the one my chotu/nikku/bunty wanted to marry when he was in kindergarten!'
  • How about the 'I've heard about you from so and so'!! In reply to which people end up saying silly things like 'i hope it wasn't all bad!' or 'Is that so!I will have to ask him/her what she's been saying about me'. I am very tempted to, just once, out of pure spite say ' I hope he/she didn't tell you what I think about you!' Ha ... would be fun!
  • There are plenty of shopping related ones where either I have or someone around has given friendly invited and uninvited suggestions with merely a wrinkled nose, a thumbs up or an expression. One which I have been asked often exclusively by women in trial rooms and have NEVER asked random strangers is ... 'do you think this is making me look fat?' post which they wave me happy byes and say 'nice-to-meet-yous' and 'thank yous'.
  • I'm sure there are plenty more and I may come back and add them. If you have any you could tell me and would add them too!

I have lots more to say on the topic so there's more to come. I will also post the hilarious incident J told me about which made me think all this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Follow Me, Will You?

You guys, if you are here and you follow this blog you are my follower.!Er, not in the stalking, restraining order way ; not even 'lets march to Dandi and make our own salt' way. No no, not even wag your tail and trail me everywhere like the Hutch (and now Vodaphone) pug way! Just, I check your blog and follow it kind of follower. So if you are one, please be further nice and click on the 'follow this blog' tab on the left hand bar.

Let me clarify and say that this is not an exhibitionist attempt at declaring my popularity to the world. I am popular enough, thank you. Its just that I like the shifting cube that appears there once you have enough followers and I would very much like the shifting cube :)

And for the record, I got my first follower BEFORE I posted this. Love you, Kips!




I (would) Want to Believe

Ok, the post comes many days after it was released, though I watched the movie the very day it hit the theaters (being jobless has its perks!) and started this post, I have been a little caught up so didn't post.

I was and am an X-Files fan, so I was all enthu and went to watch the movie first day, first show. I haven't done that, watched a FDFS, since I watched Gupt on the last day of my 12th std. boards along with the rest of my batch. J, we did not watch any during our glorious DU days?! I'm shocked!

Coming back to X-Files: I want to believe. I did not like. At all. I got a nice high as the opening credits started with the popular theme but that's about all I enjoyed about the movie. For starters, the plot was lame, the story didn't have the zing even their weakest episode on TV used to have. It was a bore, it could at most have been an average movie if it didn't have the X tag OR if it was released during the cold war! But it did have the tag and after all the hype they should have done more to let it stick.

Moreover, Mulder and Scully coming together in the movie was like ... after it happens it has no intrigue. And what's X-files without intrigue?

Sometimes when you go back to a place from your childhood which had huge dimensions in your head you find it looking far smaller and you are disappointed.
So, I am wondering if its me or others thought that as well ...

Anyway, my advice : If you liked X-Files don't go for it, if you didn't you anyway have no reason.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mama Mia!




If you haven't already, you should!That is, if you have grown up listening to the Abba songs and you don't mind singing your heart/throat out as you watch the movie. Else it'll be no fun. Make sure you go with someone who knows the songs and won't mind making a fool of herself/himself, otherwise just go on your own!

I remember listening to Abba tapes in my school days, on our Blue Sanyo two-in-one, as they were called in those days. Sometimes when J would be in town too we would break into spontaneous jigs and I'm sure my mom will have pictures of us dancing away in my room. Moreover, I really wanted to watch Mama Mia! - the musical, I remember seeing the posters at Broadway as Amit and I walked around in Time square; but some other show was on those days and anyway we didn't have the time. What I'm trying to get at is that I was thrilled when I came to know about the movie and I'm ecstatic now that I have watched it :)

The Mama Mia! movie is realllllly well made. (BTW that's a nice movie website, though Flash heavy) Each person in the cast fits the part perfectly and every one of them have sung beautifully. Meryl Streep needs no honor roll from me and is more than fantastic, I didn't know she could carry a tune this well! Especially 'The winner takes it all'. The girl playing her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is incredibly beautiful with luminous eyes and looks like a cross between an angel and a Greek goddess in the wedding dress. The two women playing Tanya and Rosie are so distinct in their characters and completely full of energy. THEN there are Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, both of whom I completely adore (you don't grow out school day crushes, do you?). Pierce Brosnan being good looking in a middle aged way that ONLY he can and Colin Firth being the eternal Mr. Darcy. The third dude (Skellen Skarsgard) is also quite nice but with these two gentlemen around, we can't pay much attention to him now, can we?

The overall look and feel of the movie is awesome. The location is to die for - its been shot on the Greek Island of Skopelos, you will see parts of it in the trailer. The green and blue Aegean sea, the typical white Greek architecture, the Mediterranean light - its beautiful. I of course knew about the islands, having done the touristy research on Greece but what drew me to the country was only History and now I'm beyond captivated. I could marry S all over again just to get married at that church!

I watched the sing along version, which is great because it spurred the less enthu people in the movie hall to sing as well. The friend I went with was embarrassed and shy as I started singing at the top of my voice but soon joined in. It was kind of a hen party though and there was spontaneous bonding. During the intermission a girl smiled at me broadly in the loo mirror and asked me if I was there for Mama Mia! Before I could rely she went in to say, "I should have come with friends and left my stupid brother at home."

There isn't a moment in the movie when you feel that it should get on with it. I had a blast watching it, so as I said you must go if you haven't. If you are in Bombay and don't have anyone you can go with and don't fancy watching movies alone like I do, you can always invite me. I absolutely won't mind going again, I will however not be responsible for any damage to your ear drums that my beautiful voice may cause. :)

P.S. You can shut off the volume to the trailer if it gets to you after a while.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Believe I Can Fly

I have always been ambitious, never happy with just what's within reach. I need to try for the best available and if I do reach that its of course fantastic, but even if I don't I need to know that I gave it all I had. This may even be an extension of my obsession with doing everything to ensure that whenever I look back I should not have any regrets for what I did and didn't do in life. I have often gone to crazy lengths and insane actions to ensure this but hey, it works for me!

As a result, I have a lot of respect for people with a fire that drives them. What that simply means is that they are always striving for more. May not necessarily mean lofty aims or flashy achievements; just the desire to keep giving their best. It simply means not being afraid to put yourself out there and giving it a shot. Today I met Bablu Singh after a very long time and it was refreshing talking to him and recognizing that drive. Just makes me happy every time I come across it.

Bablu is a veggie vendor with a stall near my house. He would be about 22-24 years old, is always well dressed, speaks good Hindi, Marathi and English, is a charmer and hence a fantastic salesman. He would say friendly things in a fun manner which you know are a part of his charm yet make you like him for it. He keeps vanishing for months every once in a while. I hadn't seen him for many months now and today as I walked back from the DVD store I saw him grin at me, wave and run towards his stall inviting me for a chat and to buy stuff. I asked him where has he been and he launched into his story, just after he gave me his mobile number for veggie, fruit home deliveries and telling me that now that he's back its obvious that I will buy them from him :)

He went back to his village to prepare for and take his B.Sc first year exams, he has cleared them with good grades and even got an award of Rs.20 k from his college, which he deposited back as his fee for the next year! He went on to tell me that he spent about Rs.25k last year to put himself through tutions for Maths and English. Maths because he wasn't good at it and English because it lets him read and understand books which could help him further with Maths and also enables him to write his answers better; its anyway helpful to know English, he says. I congratulated him and said that it was worth the investment then and he replied,"Of course, paise to maine waapis jeet hi liye lekin dimaag to khul gaya na, ab aage ka raasta dekhna hai!" (Of course, I won back the money anyway but its about the widening of my mind, now I need to find my way ahead)

I have to agree with him, widening of your mind and the way ahead, what else is there to worry about?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Down that Lane

There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I loved them all.

And I know I'll never lose affection ...


A mail from J has put me in this really nostalgic mood which I can't seem to shake off and the Beatles have been singing this song in my head constantly. I'll wrote more about this once I have an OK from the girls :)


P.S. I deleted the last post as I published it incomplete by mistake and I don't know how long it might take me to complete that one
.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The head and the heart, they work together to protect us in their own conniving ways. When you come across happy, exciting stuff these two scheming b******s fill you with a hope that such things are within your reach and you can touch them, even have them for yourself. When you watch a romantic movie they let you feel that the magical stuff you saw exists and that keeps you going till you actually find it in your life OR (for some) till you settle for something resembling it. A friend shares an awesome experience with you and you get hopeful of having similar experiences in life; and so on.

The reverse, however, is not true. You see or hear about something bad that happened to someone and suddenly a sticky protective layer covers your thoughts and you never think that that could happen to you. You come across newspaper articles or email forwards that warn you against unknown dangers - how to recognize them, avert them, deal with them - you read them thinking it isn't for you, better still you forward them to others so that they can benefit from it. And when that something bad does happen to you, you are left bewildered because it just wasn't supposed to happen to you. Even more bewildering when those you sent all the forwards to DID do everything to prevent the disaster!

I think about this and may be its right that they (the head-heart duo) should so operate. The something bad comes along and you find the strength to handle it and to carry those around you who may not always have the strength; what is the point in that case to live in fear of every disaster? What is the point in worrying and living those horrible events even before they happen? You will anyway have no escape when they do. Why not keep living with the warm sunny feeling of the good days and the dreams and hopes of those still to come; why not let the fears lie hidden in those remote corners? Who knows if this is what keeps us going, if this is what keeps us afloat.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Whoaaa!!


It matters.So much!! I see him getting onto the podium, receiving the Gold medal for men's 10 m air rifle event, our National Anthem playing in the background and the Tricolor hoisting slowly - in the top spot. India wins its first ever Olympic Gold for an individual, courtesy Abhinav Bindra.I got goosebumps.

Notwithstanding the news channels going in a tizzy over a news item they know they can play non-stop for a minimum of 48 hours OR the fact that some of them are playing 'yeh desh hai veer jawanon ka' as they gush over Bindra OR that now they will trip over each other to interview everyone from the man himself to his maali (gardener) and may be even his dog. It is a big moment. The dude has won himself and the country many golds in world championships already over the years but there's nothing like an Olympics gold. And one that makes us feel like less of a loser nation? May be even a winner? Priceless.

(Some more pictures of him over the years here.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

It was my mommy's birthday yesterday! And this sunny, bright cake is just right for her! Happy Birthday, Mom!

She had a fantastic day though every time I talked to her she said I should have been there, which I wanted to this year but my plan to go to Jaipur got postponed. My dad has been planning her b'day for some time and GET THIS, he gifted her a Blushing Read Hyundai I10!!

They have a Ford currently but my mom has been saying for some years that she wanted a new small car and that a 'red car' was her dream since she was a little girl (every time she said that I told her she's still a lil girl!), so dad decided it was time to fulfill her wish. They got the delivery of the vehicle about a week back and every time I asked if they had taken it out Dad would say 'oh its raining' 'weather isn't good' 'we were going only around the corner' etc. and yesterday it dawned on stupid me that of course he was saving it for yesterday! So they took it out yesterday to go and buy desserts and last minute stuff for the b'day party.


Incidentally, my youngest bua (dad's sis), who is my favorite aunt and also my mom's best friend, shares her birthday (Happy Birthday to you too, Bua!!). So mom dad picked her up and the two birthday girls had a fun ride in the red car :)

From what I hear the party was a hit, with people who came for tea staying for dinner as well!My mom refused to cut the cake so poor dad got pastries instead. They told me it was nearly perfect, I believe them. I also wish that J and I were there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

After you, Sir

A few days back while traveling on the airport bus from the terminal to the craft, an old lady climbed in after me and as she was trying to balance her handbag and hold on to the rails, I offered her my seat. She smiled at me with a hint of grattitude and surprise. Considering that the gesture was not really grand or exceptional, I mean you would offer your seat to an older person or a pregnant woman (right?); it made me think that may be the older people in our country and not used to being treated nicely.

In most of the other countries I have been to, especially US and Australia, the way old people are treated is really great. They are given the rights and are given those without any hassle, its their right after all. A bus driver would lower the platform and would even get off to assist an old lady into the bus, still keeping to the schedule. They don't look pained doing that, its in their attitude and habit. I cannot understand why should it be different for us. And we claim to be a country seeped in traditions and values that have lasted over centuries.

The reason for me re-visiting this thought is an incident that happened yesterday. My dad went to the rail ticket reservation center to book tickets . Like every other time he stood in the senior citizen's line which had only 3-4 people ahead of him while the regular queue was a long one. When he reached the counter the clerk at the window asked him rudely,"Can't you see there's a long line, how did you come in the front?" My dad explained that he is a senior citizen and so he stood in this line. The guy went on to say that its a 'facility' and not a 'right' and my dad should stand in the queue rightfully. He went to say some rude stuff to people in general, humiliating my dad. I am so angry as I write this that my skin crawls, I could happily murder that guy. But my dad just told him that he's not going to say anything to him and he would know better when he turns 60. He gave my dad the ticket - my dad checked it and said he's given him for the Cantt Station while his form says he wanted one for the City Station. The clerk just looked at him and said that he's made a mistake and dad should stand in the line again to get it corrected. My dad came back with the ticket. He just sat quietly in his office room at home. He walked about from room to room not saying anything. My mom was so sad but she just told him to not worry about it, the clerks tend to behave this way to show off the little power they have and that he should just book online from now on. He was worried about the ticket but S told him that we could just buy a ticket from City to Cantt which is a 4-5 minute ride anyway. Its not a big problem but he has been deeply hurt, so much so that he just told mom what happened and that he should have checked the ticket himself, not a word more.


I need to tell a few things to explain why this makes me so mad and in a way sad at this.
My dad is a very simple man, my friends, S' relatives - they meet him for a while and tell me how easy it is to see what a good and simple man he is. I will tell you more about him. He has been the center of the family, the one who took on the responsibility while he was still in 10th standard. Married off all his sisters, with mum by his side of course. And so our household has been the nanihal and the place of countless summer holiday memories to no less than 16 kids over the years and continues to be for their kids. He's in them as the doting guy who ensured everybody had what they needed to have fun. He still carries that responsibility not like a weight but like a precious jewel.

He worked with the Govt. and was at very senior and influential posts. He was in a position of power but never behaved like a powerful man. While he was working he was respected by everyone for his work, for his rare trait of honesty in a civil servant and for the way he was with people. I remember countless examples ... like when a villager would come with his hand folded and a tin of homemade ghee as he had no money to give and be surprised to tears when his work got done without the ghee or the money; or when my dad would get transferred for not pleasing the ministers and be transferred back due to the public outcry over the mess the succeeding officer created. I remember that when he got transferred out of an area he worked in for more than 20 years, all of us were eating out every single meal for about 20 days to fit in as many invitations for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. The invitations were from dad's colleagues, bosses, juniors (even a few who he would leave to scamper and follow in another car if they were more than 5 mins. late for an inspection tour - but would never say a rude word to), the farmers impacted by his work, even our driver sahib. He's too modest to ever say it but that's his legacy, that's what he has earned. He's retired now but is still frequently called upon for his expertise and knowledge as a consultant to various projects or when the same ministers have explanatory meetings with the CM or the PM and know that the data they need will have to be researched for days while dad will be able to give from memory. Mom-dad are also as frequently called upon by countless people they have befriended over those years. At my engagement, which we wanted to be a close affair we had a guest list of over 450 'close' people including relatives, household-helps who were around as J and I grew up, old friends, colleagues etc. who all turned up from various places my parents stayed at. It might sound like boasting, after all every daughter would adore her mom-dad (ok, may be not always) but believe me its more that that.

To me? My dad is a softie, as I guess most dads are when it comes to their little girls. He's the one who would hide in the car after a quick hug when I'm being dropped to the boarding school. He's the one who would happily drive 10 kms. to take me to my favorite ice-cream parlor at 10 in the night. He's the one who told me I could do whatever i wanted to but never took my decisions for me. He's the one who would not ask me 'why' even once when I say I want to marry S, only if I'm happy. He's the one with the softest hands, a title now shared by S. He's the one who would take flak from relatives but let us do the outlandish things J and I want to do. He's always there, always loving, always smiling. And you have to see the way he takes care of my mum, I could love him for just that.

To me he's a man who came from a humble background, achieved much by god's grace and his capability, is a dude at what he does, loves his family and shows it, is the greatest dad, is ALWAYS nice to people, always goes out of his way every time to help people, had and still has a lot of clout due to his reputation but is always a polite guy. And he's my dad, I couldn't be more proud.
I have lived the life of a princess in a way and have seen him only as this man I describe here.


So, you have no clue how it makes my blood boil that there is this reservation clerk who is so drunk on his power to be able to tell people off that he just humiliates my dad for no reason. Just because he sits behind this counter he thinks he has the right to behave the way he pleases. This clerk obviously doesn't and needn't know the details I tell you about my dad but he could be expected to know how to behave with people older than him. He IS expected to know how to treat a senior citizen. I'm sure every senior citizen in that queue has a story their children can tell. He should know that a facility has not been given out of charity, its a right our senior citizens have earned having done their jobs, raised their families and having made their individual contributions. He should know that he will indeed, like my dad said, would stand in that queue one day and will hope that the person on the counter will treat him with dignity and respect he deserves. I hope the one manning the counter would be a better man than him.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

That Place

I will write about the place and put pictures but here's a look of where I was. I took these pictures from the flight and you can see the seabed in the first one ... can you imagine how clear the water must be!!


I have to do the following things in the coming few days:
  • Complete the post I started writing about 'that place'.
  • Find a software to watermark the images.
    • I am very proud of my photographic skills and I think even S is damn good. I would like to create a website to sell the million pictures we already have (and the billion we will have in some time) at exorbitant rates some day (in the near future).
  • Post a picture of the super hot stilettos Ser and I bought for me yesterday.
    • FYI : They are a pair of peeptoe-slingbacks. Wine color. Patent leather finish. We will not think about what we paid for it.
    • Ser, I took the advise and I'm breaking them in. Much to my bai's amusement at my current look - worn out shorts, oldest t-shirt, duster in hand, stilettos in place! :D
  • Finish cleaning my home, make it look super chic!
  • Get groceries.
  • Have dinner with Abhi. Abhi is my favoritest cousin, in fact 'cousin' is not enough to explain my relationship with him - he's my brother, friend and someone who is a part of countless crazy childhood memories for me. He's just moved to Bombay 4 days back and I haven't met him yet. He's going to be in the same city as me ... yayyyyy!! :) :)
  • Take care of my guests for the next 5 days.
  • Go visit my favorite aunt at Pune, which has to be next week.
  • Not feel overwhelmed and sad by a friend's situation, find ways for her to set it right.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

All my bags are packed ...


The reason why the earlier post came today and not tomorrow. :)

Me off for a week's holiday. Will miss you guys much. Please to miss me. Muahhhh.

Sister Saga and Some Cake


Ever since I was a kid every time I heard about the concept of 'sister cities' I found it really interesting. To think that two cities situated in two far off geographic regions (Bokaro and Columbus, US) with no similarities whatsoever (Rajkot and Leicester, UK ??) can be pronounced sisters and will thereafter have a sisterly bond ... SO I thought that when cities are allowed to have (completely unrelated) sisters my dear blog is most definitely up for sistership too!! What better day than its b'day to give this gift.

I hereby declare this blog to be entering into a solemn sisterly vow with this blog and its owner. Not only do these two (blogs, not the owners) share a b'day (20th June'07) but much more.

Ser, I promise that I will laugh with you and cry with you. Also, share the giggles, hysterical laughter and the sniggers. I will dream of blueberry cheesecakes, brownies with you and will fantasize about shoes with you. I will also be there when these dreams and fantasies become realities. I will always share in our common love for bags and Grey's Anatomy; our common dismay at certain people and actions. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. I will take every opportunity to meet you for long and short chats, quick eats, lazy lunches, quick hugs, rain drenched walks and some bitching. Or else for convos over long phone calls. I will be forever ready to spin our 'barn' stories! I will always want the best for you. What may come I will always be here. Amen!

Happy B'day to us!!


P.S. Isn't that one gorgeous b'day cake?!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Theatrical Bliss!

Hello hello! I'm feeling much better and far less depressed now, we live in troubled times (yaa, I know, I'm reading LOTR once again and tend to talk like that) BUT even with all this morose-ness I have had a very nice past week filled with lots of going out, meeting people, hanging out, movies AND the icing on the cake ... lots of plays!!!

The Motley festival is on at the Prithvi Theatre. For the ignorant, Motley is a theater group started by Naseer-ud-din Shah and they have some wonderful plays that they have staged over the years. I have been lucky enough to watch some of their plays in the past few years. However, this time when the festival started I had something I never had before - Time! So I decided to watch as many of the plays as possible. Only I decided that a little late and most of the shows were already sold out. I did manage to get tickets for two very nice ones - Katha Collage 2 and Antigone; I watched Katha Collage 1 and loved it and Antigone is much applauded ... will write more about these once I watch them in the coming week. Right now will just tell you what happened yesterday :)

I went to Prithvi with more than one purpose - to buy tickets for whichever plays I could get, while time away at their adorable cafe and try my luck for yesterday's play - Dear Liar. I managed all three successfully! After I bought the tickets for the two plays I mentioned before and was about to head for the cafe I thought it was worth a shot and made cute, puppy-like, sorry faces at the people on the ticketing counter and finally one of them said that I should try just 15-20 mins. before the show starts and if there are any cancellations they may be able to give me a ticket. So I hung around. For three hours.

I sat at the Prithvi cafe with its lazy afternoon feel, people sitting and chilling as if there wasn't a mad, rushing world outside the walls. A group of three asked me if they could share my table (though there were at least 8 tables vacant) and they did. It turned out that it was a storywriter meeting with a director's assistant and a screenplay-writer to narrate his latest story. So as I read my book and munched on my samosa, I also heard snippets of the story and as it went along I also smiled and nodded to myself when their discussion got to something interesting (Rajasthani culture for one or the fabulousness of the Motley plays). After some time and many glasses of tea (by them); a raspberry drink, a lemonade and a mint tea down (by me) I became a quasi-teammate of sorts and was looked at for approval or a comment from time to time. It was all much fun. On one table I could see some students having a quick bite and running off. On another a mom treating a brother-sister duo after their summer workshop , there was much giggling and laughter. On yet another, one oldie and a young guy sitting while the oldie reminisced about working with Guru Dutt as a technician and knowing his driver personally(?). Some famous and some not so famous celebrities mingled over bhurji pav.
Everyone seemed to be in a comfortable place, I definitely was. The three hours passed away pretty quickly and I managed to get a ticket and got to watch Dear Liar.

I managed to get a VERY good place to sit ... just a row from the stage. So close that I felt that Naseer and Ratna Pathak were talking to me (considering it was them on stage, I'm sure that may be true for most people) and not upfront so that I wasn't looking up at them. I have seen Naseer on stage earlier but I think you can never have enough of that, it was a treat.

The play was a comedy, based on the correspondence of over 40 years between Mrs. Patrick Campbell and George Bernard Shaw. The letters were found by her maid in a old battered hat box in the days of the second world war and now in the form of this play trace the relationship the two shared (Shaw and Stella, not the maid) over about half a century. Hilarious, funny, subtly emotional in places; but most of the time it had the audience rolling with laughter. It was an awesome experience and at the end of the play the two got a standing ovation. I have also watched the plays Love Letters, Tumhari Amrita and Aapki Soniya; which had a slightly similar format. Shabana's Tumhari Amrita is the only one which manages to touch this one's brilliance.


I was left with the sense that I had seen and been a part of something grand. What a day!
I stepped out of the theater in a state of bliss. Not excited - just blissful. It was a whole new feeling. I'm now waiting to see what the other two plays will do to me ... :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is raat ki subah nahi ...

It used to happen all the time, has been happening for many many years now. Each time it did, it shook you. Still, it was mostly a distant echo. You got affected but you heard so many of them that you also got immune to them a little and you learnt how to hide from them. Not anymore.

The sounds get nearer every day. No place is safe, no place a haven anymore. They are there in a restaurant on a summer evening where you had your lunch that very day. They are in that crowded train you used to take till some years back and most people you know still do. The sounds of horror and shrieks and blasts are there in the streets I walked as a teenager, the very streets where I zipped around on my two wheeler. No place is safe, no place a haven anymore. Today the blasts are on the roads which have seen peace and festivities for as many years as I can remember, the same streets where in recent years I have walked around showing S and my friends the beautiful sights and the rich feel of my city. The shop with the prettiest silver earrings, the one with the yummiest chaat and so on ... they are all on Breaking News today. The blasts are at the very doorstep of the temple my father has been praying at since HE was a teenager. I no longer know where and how to hide.



P.S. : Was looking through the million pictures I have taken of the place over years ... I love this one with the pigeons.

Elsewhere

While I was in Bangalore, this is where S was !!!



(The venetian pavement cafes complete with the sky ... except that the sky is a painted roof!)


(... and the gondolas!)
(Warning: You may need some serious eye protection glasses in this place)


I know you can see through this. I admit, I'm being very lazy. I promise I'll be back :D


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spontaneous Joy

I write to you from Bangalore. A city I love for its sexy weather, quaint cottage houses (of course few left in older localities) and the fact that it houses some of my fav. people. I think I like it so much also because of some very wonderful times I've had here. No, never lived here but have visited numerous times :)

I have mentioned my veryyy close friend Bhavna earlier ... she's my companion from the rainy rickshaw ride . My friendship with her is the kind that makes me feel that I have earned much in this life already. The kind where you don't need to be in touch ever week or even month or whatever but every time you talk you start from where you left off, its always as much fun ... ok, before I go senti lets move on!

SO, Bhavna is expecting a baby and I did not really know that when that happens to someone who is very special to you, it can actually make you go awwww. So it did make me go awww and we talked with more and more frequency the past months and I kept wanting to see her and spend some time with her. In my three years at college while J and I stayed in a rented flat with some friends I spent many a days at Bhavna's place. It was home to me. I would land up at her place or Bhavna would drag me to stay for a few days every time ... I was unwell or I was happy or there was a match we wanted to watch together or it was a tough exam we wanted to prepare for or it was paranthas we wanted to eat or if we wanted to while a night away laughing. So I just wanted to have some of that time with her once again and we discussed many times when and how to do that. But like all great plans it was a spontaneous plan that got me here to be with her.

S was planning to go out of the country for some work and though he's always a sport when I am traveling, on the thought of a week with no S and no work and no all day calls to mom-pa (they are still in Oz) I was freaking a lil and also feeling a little weird about it too (I don't fit well into these distressed damsel roles) SO was not really showing it and being very brave. S asked me if I wanted to go meet Bhavna or Praks or anyone else and if I will be ok and keeping up with the brave front I said I would be and booked tickets for a play on Sunday, a lunch date for Saturday, a movie appointment for Friday, another dinner etc. Even got a membership of bigflicks.com ! I was all set.

And THEN the day S was to leave, Bhavna called me in the morning to chat and I told her about all this and she was like ... What?!! Why aren't you coming?! We have been wanting to meet for so long etc. etc. So I was like that's true and why am I not going and that I must. Booked the tickets, went to see S off, canceled all activity planned for, packed my bags and came to Bangalore!!! :)

Having an awesomely nice time here with Bhavna and some other friends who are dropping in to meet. Re-living some crazy past memories and creating plenty of more to keep us going for a long time.
Also, this is the first time I've really met Bhavna's husband who is a lot of fun and I think it helps that we have a shared love (Bhavna of course!!). Every two hours or so Bhavna or I say ... "isn't it great you/I came?!!!!" No wonder that while joys of all kinds and shapes are welcome the spontaneous kind are the ones I am partial to.


P.S. A big thankk youuuu to J, A, Sudip, Sandy and others who are calling up with a frequency far greater than usual to 'generally' chat :) I'm doing good. Love you, guys.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

While I'm Gone

Here's something that will make you people very happy. A few pictures of the place I'm going to spend the next week at ... I know you will think of me and these places while you are working away. (Evil laughter)




(The last one is a resort we'll be staying at)

I leave for the Land of the (peaceful) Thunder Dragon tomorrow. YAYYYY!!!! I have been looking forward to this trip for a longgg time now, not just because it will be an amazing place but also because the trip is planned with some of my closest friends - S, me, PK, SM and SM's sweet niece. So we are all converging from Bombay, Delhi, Kolkata and Dubai to undertake this journey together. All of us have this strange feeling that this trip will be special because we'll all be there and because life for all of us may alter in defining ways and we may not have such a time together anytime soon. Its just a feeling we have.

I will come back with many more pictures of my own and will post them too, S says that I have a Japani Aatma (Japanese spirit) because I take SO many pictures all the time. He's no less but he likes to say that ... between two of us we took about 400 pictures in ONE day at Alexandria. (I know I'm still to write/ post pictures for the Egypt and Agra trips). I promise to be less lazy :)


Lazhimbe Jon, people.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Paint it Red!

Some days back I painted my toenails RED. For the first time. Here they are, in the company of my red shoes and turquoise booties, sunning themselves outside the Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb in Agra :) In fact I have painted them an even brighter red since then



It excited me (and a few others) sooo much and they just made me feel so good that I had to report it to PK. So I set out to tell my dear friend PK about it during one of our marathon phone conversations. This is how it went :

Me : You know what? I painted my toes RED. For the first time ever in my life!Yipee!!
PK: Really?
Me: Absolutely! (more yipee etc.)
PK: So you are saying that, the only time, the very first time you colored your hair you went and got magenta highlights BUT you've never painted your toes red?
Me: Uh, ya, I guess that's what I'm saying ...


P.S. Aren't those toe rings damn nice? (Enlarge to see them) I loveeee them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

No big deal this

I had enough of saying I wanted a break and not doing anything about it. Also considering that my work had come to take over my life so much, I think it was about time I stepped out of that zone and looked at things with new eyes (maybe my new haircut will help)

Now, I ONLY need to get used to ...
  • Getting to sleep as much as I want!! (no more waking up at unearthly hours to finish work!!!)
  • NOT multi-tasking all the time. i.e. not have brekky and watch TV and check mail at the same time because I would find time to do each one of them. Right now I'm having to pace myself and tell myself this time and again. I'm behaving a lil like that kid who has been deprived of chocolates for years and has now been let out at a chocolate mountain and so is gorging away. I hope I don't end up with a tummy ache :)
  • Not keeping my fav. lip balm and a 100 other things in my bag all the time. Oh no, that means I will need to find a place for them at home ...
  • Not dial 0 when I pick up my land line phone to make a call :)
  • Getting the time to finish reading a book in 3 days
  • Not walking around with speed and purpose as if the world depends on me (to think of it ... do I really need to walk slower?)
  • Not being bone tired and sleepless all the time
  • Not having two laptops
  • Having lazy mornings at home with S around and lazing in the sun and relaxed breakfasts and worldspace
  • You know those printout of monthly calendars from Outlook? Not have every day of my next 2,3 or even 4 months planned out in different colored pens on those and pinned around me. (yeahhh, I do know how that sounds)
  • Going to a multiplex and watching two movies one after another on a weekday
  • Being around to call my mom dad at all times - I'm kind of cold turkeying as my parents left for a 2 month trip to Australia last week so I'm not able to make numerous calls to them in a day like I used to, at least not without accounting and planning for the time difference, them being out etc. Did I say how much I like my parents? Not just love, but 'like'? Ok, I'll soon rectify that but for now - they are adorable and much fun and I'm ... MISSING THEM TO NO END! :( :(

To be continued ... as I'm going to run some errands now but I'm sure things will keep hitting me :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Days of the New

As I'm lying down on the cool floor of my living room, head pillowed on my crossed arms, looking out the large window with the yellow curtains towards the blue blue sky and the swaying bright wooden fish wind chimes I got from Colombo, I'm suddenly struck by the thought. I smile and stretch and say it aloud. It's been a week.

It's been a week since I quit my job, completed my notice period and then a lil bit extra, finished all the work, cleared my desk, wrote the customised farewell mails, said goodbyes, took backup of my documents, thanked my boss for the lunch, the gift and walked out of the place I have been working at for the past five years. Out of the place which was almost home(!), work I loved and people I liked - some more than others :). WOOOOHOOOOOO. It's been a week!

In the past week, I started writing many times and then didn't post as what came out didn't sound finished. I kept thinking ... what if whatever I'm thinking and feeling changes tomorrow, let me give myself time for things to sink in and so I didn't post. Now, lying on the cold floor with a week behind me, a week in which I only read, slept, spent sunny mornings with S, met people, watched movies, watched TV, cooked, chatted with people, listened to music, slept some more; I believe that while it may take me some time to get over some things - I can do this.

More than one person told me - I would love to be in your place any day! and here I am, still taking it a day at a time. Tiptoeing and worried that any moment I'm going to feel that it's too much and I need the hectic pace of work back. For once in my life I have taken a decision that is as much rational as from the heart and I'm only beginning to enjoy this emptiness I wanted and never had. It just makes me think that change is no doubt the only constant and the things that you fear changing the most are may be the ones needing it most.